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Research councils facing new science and technology

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Abstract

This paper addresses the question how research councils respond to emerging fields of science. Taking nanotechnology as its case, we compare the cases of responses of research councils in Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland during the period 1990 - 2008. The case studies are based on extensive document study and 25 in depth interviews with relevant actors. The analysis is framed by Resource ependence Theory, which is found to overlook aspects related to long term changes and interactions between organizations and their environment. But when this dimension is added, it provides an explanation for the observed conservative response of research councils: research councils are constrained by a web of resource dependencies as it slowly develops over time and gets embedded in national research landscapes, in part as a result of research councils' own actions. We identify a four stage pattern which describes their conservative response.

Suggested Citation

  • van der Most, Frank & van der Meulen, Barend, 2010. "Research councils facing new science and technology," Papers in Innovation Studies 2010/11, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2010_011
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    File URL: http://wp.circle.lu.se/upload/CIRCLE/workingpapers/201011_VanderMost_VanderMeulen.pdf
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    Keywords

    research councils; research funding; emerging science and technology; interdisciplinary research; resource dependence theory; nanotechnology;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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